My Blessing Way
by Jenny Hatch
Sept. 8th, 2002

Yesterday I called Jeannine Parvati Baker to integrate what happened during our blessing way. Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of my first Freebirth. We had a wonderful discussion. I realized as we hung up the phone that our conversation ended right about the time I had a quick five-minute transition and started pushing Andrew into the world.

We conceived in January. My husband Paul has known for years that if we had another baby I would want to do my own prenatal care, as I did with Andrew, and was not surprised when I did exactly that. What was a surprise to me however, was how my life organized itself to allow me to use Jeannine as my Shamanic Midwife, much the same way that Laura Shanley was my mentor during Andrew’s pregnancy.

How exciting for me to be able to have passionate discussions through email/phone with these wonderful sisters while pregnant, being mentored and encouraged by those who have lived such pioneering lives and then been passionate enough to write and share of their experiences!

We transferred to the hospital shortly after Andrew’s birth for help
with his breathing and my bleeding. I don’t know why I had such a wild time after that birth, when all I wanted was a quiet bonding with my child, but the trauma of the firemen, ambulances, helicopter, and Newborn Intensive Care Unit resulted in me questioning everything about our life.

As we struggled through this time, made more challenging by Paul
experiencing panic attacks, food allergies, and financial difficulties
that required me to work outside our home, I experienced a sort of
valley after our peak empowering experience of taking personal
responsibility for the health of my son during his gestation and birth.

I have wondered what this “valley” of darkness after Andrew’s birth was all about. A scripture comes to mind when I think of this time. It is from the Book of Mormon and says: “And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that FAITH  is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your FAITH” Ether 12:6

I believe this time was the trial of my faith. Sometimes God gives us
enough light and truth to encourage us to take a different path, but
then he lets us struggle as we learn by our own experience to know the bitter from the sweet. As we struggled through this time, I learned to embrace others who had lifestyles different from ours. From what I could see, many who were living a mainstream life were doing a fabulous job raising loving, intelligent children. While our children participated in public school for the first time, I roasted my first pot roast, and we immersed ourselves more fully in American culture by participating in Halloween trick or treating, and other types of activities that I had formerly deemed too “toxic” for my children, I was forced to take a step back from my ideals and wonder how much “purity” and “wholeness” was really necessary to raise a healthy family?

The discomfort our lifestyle brought upon others, who then expressed their distress to us in a variety of ways had to be a factor in all of these decisions regarding how “alternative” we were going to be in our home life.

One of Paul’s constant laments in the early year’s was, “why do we
always have to be the weird one’s?” I believe this time of reevaluation was a chance for us to integrate the issues that had troubled our marriage. Paul’s perception over the years was that I would rush from one book to another and then take a flying leap into the unknown with him and the children quietly standing by flustered and uncomfortable. He told me once that every time I returned home from the Library with a stack of books, he would cringe wondering what was next.

As I raced from natural childbirth to vegetarianism to not immunizing, to pushing all the beds in the house together, to breastfeeding a four year old, to unschooling, and finally to the mother of them all…. Unassisted Childbirth… he was left wondering what sort of an irresponsible nut case he had married?

As we have talked and become more accepting of each other as a couple the give and take needed for our marriage to survive has required both of us to sacrifice some ideals. We both agree however, that the most important gift we can give to our children is to teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.

The confidence I feel NOW in regards to primal mothering is more quiet and clear, with the sober understanding that this lifestyle, while wonderful in most ways, has its drawbacks and pitfalls. Some of these pitfalls are the feelings of isolation the family may experience. We mother’s may feel supported, validated, and nurtured by friend’s from all across the world in our vast Internet outreach. But our husband’s and older children may not, and this lack of support for our partners may lead to a divorce. Men are already isolated in our western society and to add one more layer of isolation may tip the scales over to a family breakup.

Most truth in life is so surrounded by Spiritual Warfare that often it
is difficult to clearly see and quantify what it is that we are doing as
parents. But through the purposeful daily practice of nurturing our
little ones in a conscious way – we are battling all that is evil on the
planet. As I have renewed my faith in the truths surrounding primal
parenting, a quiet yet firm confidence has welled up in my heart. This is the right lifestyle for US! And with loving compromise every family can determine the principles and practices that are important to them!

One of the Sacred Ceremonies that I wanted to manifest in this pregnancy was The Blessing Way.

I knew the greatest gift I could give to my family was the experience of the Blessing Way. I felt somewhat shy to organize my own ceremony – but knew how I wanted it to go. I felt the spirit associated with a family blessing way would be the most important “prenatal care” we could experience.

I contacted Jeannine and asked her if she were coming to Colorado at all during my pregnancy. She told me that they would be in town over Labor Day weekend. It was perfect! Labor Day! Symbolic and also a day when Dad’s would be off work!

As a Christian, I wanted to have the Savior’s spirit in abundance at the party and I also knew that sacred hymns and prayer would be the best way to invite his spirit. I also understood that the feelings attached to it would be a potential pattern for how my birth would be.

I prepared my Alter with a picture of Jesus, a bag of Wheat grass, a jar of Kamut and Flax seeds, and a cloth diaper. We had requested that no one bring gifts, but rather donate to our cloth diaper fund. Our friends gave generously and I was able to order all of the diapers needed for this new little one last week!

As each family arrived I had a feeling of perfection. These were the
very souls we were destined to bless the way with!

My friend Nancy offered a wonderful prayer of thanksgiving and
protection to start the Ceremony.

Then Rico told the history of the blessing way, and Jeannine described the purpose of passing around the yarn, which we all wound around our wrist’s symbolizing community. As we wound the string I sang the opening hymn, acapella.

Come thou Fount

Come thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above,
Praise the mount I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise to thee an alter,
Hither by thy help I’m come.
And I hope by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God.
He to rescue me from danger,
Interposed his precious blood.

Oh to grace, how great a debtor,
Daily I’m constrained to be.
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it
Seal it for thy courts above.

Then Jeannine and Rico did the traditional grooming. She let down my hair and noted coming wisdom - my first gray hairs. Paul chuckling said he must be very wise, as his head is covered in gray. Then Rico massaged Paul’s shoulders and expressed to him his confidence in his roll as a husband and father/provider. Jeannine and Rico then demonstrated their hand mudras individually and then together.

Then they anointed our feet with a bottle of Dream Catcher essential oil blend. As Jeannine massaged various reflex points, I felt a wave of loving energy wash over my body and the baby started to kick excitedly. Rico worked on Paul and as they massaged I asked that my friends go around the circle telling who they were and how they knew our family. This was the highlight of the party for me. I found myself tearing up as expressions of love were conveyed to Paul and I.

To finish the ceremony Paul and I sang the hymn, Jesus, Lover of my soul with his guitar.

Then I had a feeling of love enter my heart for the circle of friends
that had gathered and my eternal companion Paul. We finished the party with a feast of fresh fruit and muffins then visited and took pictures.

 From this moment until the baby arrives we have been blessed and set apart for the important task of welcoming our child into our home.

We have hired a post partum Doula. Amy specializes in the Ayurvedic Mother/Baby protocol of massage, post partum cooking, and will care for me for the six weeks following the birth.

My prayer for all families who walk down this primal mothering path is that as we learn new principles and implement them into family life we will be patient and loving. I have a dream that by the time my children are grandparents this lifestyle will be firmly entrenched into our world as an ideal way to live family life without all the distress for those of us who choose it. with the humble understanding that each couple has to decide for themselves which path will serve their family best.

The ultimate principle in all of this is LOVE. Cherishing and accepting
our little ones – and then launching them on the road that will
hopefully lead to the fulfillment of all their hopes and dreams!

While I am content to “live and let live” with those who disagree with my views on birth, I feel passionate enough about holistic parenting to believe that it will be the path that leads to the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in his 65th chapter of the Bible.

Lord knows the cult of death, destruction, and hurt associated with the Chemical/Medical model of parenting will NOT lead to this prophecy being fulfilled.

Remember, Isaiah saw our day….

“And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die an hundred years old….. for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain saith the Lord.

Isaiah the Prophet

Until the day when children are no longer killed, hurt, or live a life
of days, or cry, or are destroyed…..

Love, Jenny

We recommend Jenny's wonderful site!

The Natural Family Company
Mission Statement - "Healthy Families Make A Healthy World!"
Web site address - www.naturalfamilyco.com
Business owner - Jenny Hatch 
Conference info - Sponsor and Organizer of The 2nd International Husband/Wife Homebirth Conference - Theme - "When Faith Endures" - Keynote Speaker - Laura Kaplan Shanley - This Unassisted Childbirth conference was held in Boulder Colorado in July of 2001 and is available exclusively from the Natural Family Site as an e-video.  Cost - $39.95  For Compleate Mother readers - mention this ad through email when purchasing the conference e-video and receive a $5.00 rebate upon purchase through pay pal. Offer good until June 2003.

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